I had an interesting conversation the other day with a Mississauga businessman who feels strongly that when Hwy. 401 is widened to 12 lanes next year between Mississauga and Mavis Roads, that a viaduct should be constructed to level the roadway there. It currently drops about 70 feet and trucks sometimes have to gear down to climb out of the ‘dip.’ And it’s always congested.

Ernie Lynch, president and founder of Lynch Group of Companies on Argentia Rd. in Mississauga, has been lobbying to have the roadway flattened out during the expansion. He presents some numbers that indicate emissions and fuel consumption are higher than necessary due to the road’s current design, which follows the profile of the land.

Ernie’s an interesting guy. He’s passionate about the environment and puts his money where his mouth is. He grows organic vegetables at the company’s office and once in a while cooks them up for staff. He’s hoping to get permission from the city to build a greenhouse there. The company funded the conversion of an employee’s Toyota Prius to a full plug-in electric, which now gets 180 mpg. He’s installing charging stations at the plant for electric vehicles. His house is largely solar-powered and he generates surplus electricity, which he sells to the province. He even pays employees to relocate closer to the office so that they reduce their environmental impact while commuting. He also heads the company band, named the Bare Naked Lynches. Okay, that last point was totally irrelevant, but I just wanted to work Bare Naked Lynches into this story.

Ernie would like to see the trucking industry – arguably the biggest stakeholders in this decision – to get on-board and help him convince the government to change its construction plans for the stretch of highway. This isn’t currently on the Ontario Trucking Association’s agenda, because its fleet members haven’t yet asked them to get involved.

I asked a couple professional drivers who regularly travel this stretch of Hwy. 401 to weigh in and they believe leveling the roadway here will have minimal effect. It’s a busy area, because trucks are joining the highway at Mississauga Road at the same time cars are jockeying for position to get off the highway at Mavis Rd. Both arguments are outlined in this story. So, what do you think? Is this a cause the industry should get behind? Or are there more important things to worry about?


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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • What a tree hugging idiot! Trucks don’t even have to gear down fully loaded on this section of highway anymore. The slow traffic is due to congestion, too many vehicles and not enough roads. They say follow the money, Somehow his firm must be the beneficiary of a viaduct being built for no reason. While we are at it why don’t we level the Rocky Mountains too. I cannot believe this story even got published, James, I thought you were more intelligent!

  • 7 church st w
    box 38
    I wouldn’t want too see a long viaduct as in a long bridge across that span seeing as how our bridge building is atrocious. We can put a man the moon,and dock in space,and operate on a patient robotically from halfway around the world,but we cannot make a bridge and a roadway meet smoothly. Just drive the 401west of the don valley 404 exit in a truck and you’d think you where riding a short legged quarter horse. It’s not a picture of a super highway, and then the maintenance cost of a long bridge ,our grandkids will want dig us up out of our graves and shoot us. Just fill the valley where you want the road with fill and make a short bridge across the credit river. Just think about it all the new homes between Mavis and the river are built on fill taken from the 403 and 410. Glad I don’t own one of those houses.ha ha